Business schools have long held headline-garnering entrepreneur contests. The little-known secret is that few of the winners ever become viable businesses. But now some programs are driving down to the granular, forcing contestants to detail the practical, nuts-and-bolts details of running a start-up, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Despite winning tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, many winning entries over the years are never realized into businesses. To remedy this, Wellesley, for one, is launching a new competition which requires entrants to present a PowerPoint presentation which reveals the steps they took to develop their proposed business – including interviewing potential customers or conducting market research. At the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, a new contest will present contestants with the same hypothetical business, including product idea, market and a problem it is facing, and each team will be required to determine the viability of that business and propose an alternative. The Journal writes:
Darden says the contest would reward students for understanding and applying the steps necessary for starting a business, rather than rewarding students for coming up with the best—even if unproven—idea. The school hopes the experience would put team members in a better position to launch their own ventures down the line.
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